2,500-pound machine strapped around Flintoof's knee to save his cricket career

Posted By: Staff

London, Aug 30 (ANI): England all rounder Andrew Flintoff is praying that the 2,500 pound machine strapped around his knee will save his cricket career.

The Lancashire all-rounder has to strap himself to the contraption for eight hours every day as he starts his gruelling rehabilitation from his latest operation.

The state-of-the-art Continuous Passive Motion equipment was prescribed by surgeon Andy Williams and is designed to bend the 31-year-old Ashes hero's knee up to 1,500 times a day, News of the World reported.

"I had a choice of either using this machine or doing three sets of 500 knee bends a day, so I thought the machine might be the way forward. I strap my leg into it for eight hours a day. It bends my knee up and down all the time and makes sure the movement is controlled," Flintoff revealed.

"I will have the machine on most of the time, even when I'm sleeping. The hard part is getting used to having your leg strapped into a machine for most of the day. It's designed to help with the healing but, inevitably, my right leg is going to waste away a bit and the muscles are going to disappear. There's not a lot I can do about it because I can't bear any weight on my right leg for six to eight weeks."

Flintoff underwent keyhole surgery in London on Monday night - just a day after helping England beat Australia at the Oval to regain the Ashes.

It was the second op on his troublesome knee and the ninth of his career, following four on his left ankle, two for hernias and another on his back.

Flintoff announced his retirement from Test cricket during the Ashes after admitting his 16-stone body could no longer cope with five-day cricket.

"I have set myself a target of returning for the tour to Bangladesh, which is from mid-Febuary to the middle of March, but whether that's realistic or not, I'm not sure," admitted Flintoff.

"There is a possibility I may not play again. It's something I'm going to have to be prepared for in case the operation is not as successful as I hope. There will be a question mark in my mind about whether I have played my last game until I know how the operation has turned out.

"I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind, but the success rate for an operation like this is pretty good," the paper quoted him, as saying. (ANI)

Story first published: Sunday, August 30, 2009, 14:05 [IST]
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